2008 Gippsland by-election

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Gippsland (green) within Victoria.

The 2008 Gippsland by-election was held for the Australian House of Representatives seat of Gippsland on 28 June 2008.[1] It was triggered by the resignation of National Party MP Peter McGauran.[2]

The writ for the by-election was issued on 19 May 2008. Nominations closed at 12 noon on 5 June 2008. The declaration of nominations, including the ballot order, was revealed the following day, 6 June 2008.[3] The electorate was contested on the same boundaries drawn for Gippsland at the 2007 federal election.

The by-election saw the National Party retain the seat with an increased margin, electing candidate Darren Chester.


At the 2007 federal election, the opposition Labor Party defeated the incumbent Liberal-National coalition government. This marked the first change of government in over 11 years. This meant a transition from the government frontbench to the opposition backbench for several Liberal Party and National Party politicians. It was speculated that a number of former ministers would not serve out their terms but resign their seats early,[4] and this has in fact occurred (McGauran, Alexander Downer and Mark Vaile have all resigned).

On 4 April 2008, McGauran became the first former Howard government minister returned at the 2007 election to announce his resignation. McGauran first won the seat of Gippsland at the 1983 federal election. He retained the seat at every subsequent election. At the 2007 election, McGauran won the seat for the National Party by a two-party preferred margin of 55.91% to Labor's 44.09%.[5]

McGauran has reportedly lined up a job in the racing industry with Thoroughbred Breeders Australia.[6]


National Party candidate and eventual winner, Darren Chester

Five candidates contested the by-election. They are listed below in ballot order.[7]

A joint Coalition candidate?[edit]

Following McGauran's resignation announcement, Craig Ingram, independent Victorian MLA for the seat of Gippsland East, told reporters that he was considering contesting the by-election as an independent.[16] Subsequently, Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan made an offer to Ingram to run with the joint endorsement of the Liberal and National parties. Heffernan saw this as the first step in a potential merger between the two parties. However, the idea was rejected by both party organisations; and it is doubtful whether Heffernan had the authority to make such an offer.[17] Soon after that, Ingram announced that he would not be running in any capacity.[18]


Darren Chester retained the seat for the National Party with an increased margin.[19]

Gippsland by-election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Darren Chester 32,971 39.60 -8.77
Labor Darren McCubbin 23,652 28.41 -8.14
Liberal Rohan Fitzgerald 17,249 20.72 +20.72
Greens Malcolm McKelvie 5,862 7.04 +1.50
Liberty & Democracy Ben Buckley 3,518 4.23 +4.23
Total formal votes 83,252 97.12 +0.10
Informal votes 2,465 2.88 -0.10
Turnout 85,717 89.68 -5.98
Two-party-preferred result
National Darren Chester 51,611 61.99 +6.08
Labor Darren McCubbin 31,641 38.01 -6.08
National hold Swing +6.08

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gippsland by-election due on June 28". AAP. 5 May 2008. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  2. ^ "McGauran resigns, 'makes way for new blood'". ABC. 4 April 2008.
  3. ^ "Date set for Gippsland by-election". AEC. 5 May 2008.
  4. ^ Tony Wright (8 December 2007). "Byelections galore". The Age.
  5. ^ "2007 federal election results – Gippsland". Results.aec.gov.au. 14 December 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  6. ^ Mark Davis (2 April 2008). "Decide now, Nelson tells MPs pondering future". Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. ^ "Gippsland candidates". Aec.gov.au. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  8. ^ "Candidate for Greens". Latrobe Valley Express. 5 May 2008.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Liberals select Gippsland candidate". AAP. 15 April 2008. Archived from the original on 16 April 2008. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "Cr Ben Buckley". Egipps.vic.gov.au. 9 December 2009. Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  11. ^ "Gippsland by-election officially called". ABC. 20 May 2008.
  12. ^ "2008 Gippsland By-election". ABC. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Wellington Mayor resigns to stand for by-election". ABC. 5 June 2008.
  14. ^ "Labor to run Mayor in Gippsland". ABC. 18 April 2008.
  15. ^ "Nationals select candidate for Gippsland". Sunday Herald Sun. 13 April 2008.
  16. ^ Misha Schubert (5 April 2008). "Ingram eyes federal seat". The Age.
  17. ^ "Libs, Nationals reject joint ticket proposal for Gippsland". ABC. 8 April 2007.
  18. ^ Kate Lancaster (10 April 2008). "Candidates jostle for by-election". Latrobe Valley Express.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "2008 by-election result – Gippsland". Results.aec.gov.au. 15 July 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2010.

External links[edit]